If you’ve spent any time following current events in the last few years, it would come as no surprise to you that there is an abundance of egotistical behavior in the political arena. This unwavering self-confidence may be the elixir of politics but it is the poison of good public policy and journalistic integrity.
This month the federal government announced 265,000 new jobs were created during the month of April versus a prediction of 180,000. The economy continues to thrive, and this most recent jobs report is further proof the US is dominant again on the world stage. Just a few days prior to the jobs announcement came an even more encouraging government economic report – GDP grew at an annualized rate of 3.2% in the first quarter of 2019! Achieving a 3.2% annualized rate in the winter months – which can negatively affect the economy – and during which time there was a government shutdown, is a truly astonishing number.
These consistently strong reports should serve as a stern reminder to those of us in the political, public policy, or media industries. What these numbers tell us is that most Americans don’t care about the issues dominating headlines and dividing Congress. They want the politicians and the media to get along and do what is right for the country. Everyday Americans are waking up in the morning focused on providing for their families and working to better their futures. They are saying just give us a chance and stay out of our way and we can have the American dream – whatever that is for each individual.
Stubborn leftists in the media and on Capitol Hill have allowed their hubris and hatred of the president to make any reasonable recognition of successful policy inconceivable. They are trying to skew the narrative away from giving Trump any “wins”. This has caused any discourse on substantive issues to take a back seat, instead forcing Americans to digest an unending onslaught of soap opera-esque headlines. Such behavior is both hypocritical and dangerous.
It is hypocritical because had the economy been this strong during the Obama administration, the narrative in the media and from liberal members of Congress would have completely flipped. In fact, Obama himself has gone so far as to try and take credit for the current economy.
It is dangerous because as the 2020 election cycle picks up steam, this hubris may impact how Americans vote. I wish that weren’t true but it is. Influencing voters by suppressing reality is a dangerous precedent. What makes it worse is that the news media (I am not talking about opinion folks) that is supposed to report fairly, equally, and without bias are taking out their anger about Donald Trump the person as opposed to reporting about the Trump Administration and what it has or has not done from a policy standpoint. All of this over hurt egos and an inability to give credit where credit is due.
We need to leave hubris out of public policy. Let the opinion pundits regurgitate all the partisan rhetoric they want to about an elected official or candidate (after all this tactic is as old as America) but let’s leave that at the public policy door and report accurately on what everyday Americans really care about – their life and their hope for the future.